Archaeological Monitoring of the Acequia Madre de Valero at the Proposed Civic Park, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas
From August through September 2017, the Center for Archaeological Research (CAR) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) conducted archaeological monitoring of excavations at the previous site of the western wing of the Henry B. González Convention Center in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The 3.03-hectare (7.5-acre) project area is the site of the proposed Civic Park and other new developments. Previous archaeological investigations completed by Raba Kistner Environmental in 2016, uncovered a 40-m (131.23-ft.) long segment of the Acequia Madre de Valero (41BX8). The City of San Antonio (COSA) contracted CAR to monitor any below ground excavations in the project area and to monitor mitigation work on the acequia. Because the property is owned by the COSA, compliance with the Antiquities Code of Texas was required. As such, the State Antiquities Code and Chapter 35 of the San Antonio Unified Development Code governed the excavations and required coordination with the COSA Office of Historic Preservation and the Texas Historical Commission (THC) Archaeology Division. CAR conducted the work under Texas Antiquities Commission Permit No. 8141. Dr. Paul Shawn Marceaux served as the Principal Investigator, and Andrea Thomas served as the Project Archaeologist, assisted by Antonia Figueroa. Principal activities during the project included monitoring the mechanical excavation of an underground vault for storm drain connections and the mechanical exposure of and mitigation of the Acequia Madre de Valero. No cultural materials or features were revealed during the excavation of the vault. Historic artifacts were documented in the acequia fill, and a representative sample was collected to date when the acequia was last in use. The artifacts manufacture dates ranged from 1850 to 1920. Because the acequia (41BX8) was previously determined as eligible to the National Register of Historic Places, CAR recommends that future excavations in the property area be subject to archaeological monitoring and archaeological sites should be avoided and protected from construction impacts. All associated records and diagnostic artifacts are curated at the CAR in accordance with Federal Regulations 36 CFR Part 79 and THC requirements for State Held-in-Trust collections.